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40 Easy Chicken Breast Recipes for Thanksgiving Dinner

~ Chicken breast recipes are fantastic alternatives to the traditional turkey Thanksgiving dinner! They’re so quick (often just 30 minutes!), easy, affordable and healthy. They can also be perfect for smaller parties … and a true relief if you’re tired of turkey every year. We’ve got LOTS of holiday-worthy ideas to dress them up for a delicious, memorable feast! ~

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Looking for alternative Thanksgiving dinner ideas?

Yeah … me, too!

Our sprawling family (on both sides) seems to engulf more and more newlyweds and babies and unsuspecting bystanders every year. The family tree keeps sprouting more new branches than we can keep track of.

So, we always end up celebrating Thanksgiving on more than just one day to jam everybody in. Two celebrations minimum, sometimes three or four. (Good problem to have, I know!)

But nope nope … I really don’t wanna eat turkey every single time!

So, as I stared down another year of, “What can I make for Thanksgiving dinner instead of turkey AGAIN?” I thought I’d share my brainstorming with all of you! I found so many fantastic ideas I’m ridiculously excited about. (More than any one person could possibly make in one Thanksgiving season, no matter how big their family tree is!)

Why Are Chicken Breasts a Great Thanksgiving Alternative?

Chicken breasts are:

  • Quick and easy to make … and with no need to carve up a whole bird at the end
  • Super adaptable (and perfectly suited to Thanksgiving-y holiday flavors, just like turkey is)
  • Lean and healthy
  • A great bet if you prefer white meat and don’t want the dark meat, anyway
  • Ideal for smaller gatherings (although many of the recipes below can be scaled up, too)
  • Often a less expensive option than a whole turkey (especially at grocery stores this year), and definitely if you don’t really even need as much meat as an entire bird will yield

And, maybe most importantly for those of us who don’t need more turkey dinners back-to-back-to-back … they just simply aren’t turkey!

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Special Flavors for a Special Day

But don’t worry. They also don’t have to be the same-old, same-old chicken breast recipes you make all year ’round!

I found lots of great recipes that are brimming with autumn harvest, holiday flavors. Cranberries, pumpkin, Brussels sprouts, rosemary and sage … all those cozy, feel-good vibes you crave at Thanksgiving dinner. Plus some unique, creative ones to give your palate a little break, too!

And whether you wanna fire up the oven, head out to the grill, or just flip on your handy slow cooker, Instant Pot or air fryer … there’s something here you’re sure to love!

Take a look …

40 Festive Chicken Breast Recipes for Thanksgiving Dinner

Need More Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas?

Ok … so whatcha gonna make to go with your Thanksgiving chicken recipe, now that you’ve found the perfect one to try?

And how about some easy recipes for side dishes to go with your scrumptious chicken dinner?

Other recipes I highly recommend include:

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

I’m still not sure what I’ll be serving on Thanksgiving Dinner Part II at our house this year (or Part III or IV if those end up happening), but I’ve had so much fun coming up with this scrumptious list of ideas.

I feel armed and ready for a celebration-worthy, alternative feast situation! Hope you’re feeling that way now, too.

Whatever you’re cooking, and wherever you’re celebrating, I hope your heart is happy and your belly is full of something wonderful.

All the best …

~ by Shelley


  1. These are some of the MOST delicious chicken recipes I’ve ever tried!! Absolutely love all the details and so many great options for chicken recipes for Thanksgiving!

    1. Oh wow – thank you so much for the wonderful feedback! I’m delighted you found some great inspiration, and that the recipes were detailed and helpful as you made them. I spent so much time sifting through all the possible recipes to include, searching for the very best ones, so I’m really happy to hear they measured up! 😀 ~Shelley

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